On the heels of the passage of the free trade agreements and recent bipartisan funding packages for agriculture and disaster relief, congressional leaders have demonstrated an ability to reach across the aisle and work together to pass solutions that will help spur economic growth.
This week, the Senate once again took an important step forward to reduce uncertainty by repealing the job-destroying 3 percent withholding tax and passing incentives to encourage new opportunities for veterans returning home.
I cosponsored the repeal of the 3 percent withholding tax -- an onerous income tax that places an unnecessary financial burden on businesses, local governments, health care providers, farmers, and universities across America. This bill -- which my colleagues in the House overwhelmingly passed with 405 votes -- will provide numerous job creators with more certainty and opportunities nationwide.
For many businesses, the profit margin for completed projects is often less than 3 percent -- meaning the withholding tax would have created significant cash flow problems for day-to-day operations and drained capital that could be used for future business expansions. The small amount of tax revenue that would have been generated by this needless mandate simply cannot outweigh the development that can be created by confident investors.
In addition, the Senate voted to pass important tax incentives for businesses that hire veterans who are coming home and in need of work -- a bill that also passed the House last month with overwhelming bipartisan support. As we mark Veterans Day this week, we're reminded of the incredible sacrifices that our nation's servicemen and women make to protect our freedoms each and every day. We owe it to them to ensure they have the opportunity to earn a living once they return home.
The passage of these measures signals progress in Washington, but we still have a long way to go if we're going to pay down our federal debt and lower national unemployment. That's why over the last year, my colleagues in the House have passed more than 15 bipartisan bills that would immediately reduce unnecessary regulations on private sector businesses, promote lower energy costs, and boost job growth without putting Americans further into debt. This includes legislation like the "Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act" and the "EPA Regulatory Relief Act" -- both measures that I have co-sponsored in the Senate in order to alleviate excessive regulatory burdens on job creators.
Dubbed the "Forgotten 15," these bills have unfortunately been stalled by the majority party in the Senate, which has failed to address any of these bipartisan solutions to date. As we look to spur private sector development and compete in an increasingly global economy, I hope Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and the Senate leadership will seriously consider these 15 bipartisan jobs bills.
While we may not have the same approach, we can agree that jumpstarting our nation's economy must be a top priority in Washington. I'm committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common sense solutions that will create certainty in the marketplace, reduce burdens on business owners, and spur job development to get Americans back to work. I hope the Senate will start by considering the "Forgotten 15" as we look to jumpstart economic opportunities nationwide.